And so, the lively lunch continued until half the afternoon had passed, at which point they finally began to settle down.
Breman: —gentlemen, it’s about time I handed out your missions.
At that, the men turned from normal diners to soldiers ready to receive their orders.
Breman: Lee Sole’shot. You’ll be in charge of protecting that girl you saved previously, by yourself.
Breman: You don’t have to appear before her, just blow off the heads of anyone who tries to harm her.
Breman: If such a thing were to happen, don’t bother cleaning up the corpse after you do so. I want them to see the corpse, understood?
Lee Sole’shot: That’s easy, sir. Whether it’s a human or a horse, a target is a target.
Breman: One’day High. I order you to act as an intermediary between me and Three’floral Dawn. There are a number of matters we need to iron out in this deal.
One’day High: ……
One’day High: Understood, sir.
Breman: What’s the matter? You don’t seem too enthusiastic about it?
One’day High: It’s nothing, it’s just that the name Three’floral Dawn shocked me for a moment.
Breman: Don’t worry, it’s not like he will eat you or something.
Breman: Halfmoon Leak’age. Your mission is to find a craftsman and protect him while he repairs a certain object.
Halfmoon Leak’age: Understood, what’s the object that needs to be repaired?
Breman: Di Qi Ju, take out your Traveller’s Time.
Di Qi Ju: Kay…
I took out the Traveller’s Time I kept in my shirt’s pocket and placed it on the table, revealing the cracks on it for all to see.
Breman: This is the handiwork of a certain retard, that retard has already lost his head.
Breman: —rein in those expressions of yours.
Hearing that, their knitted eyebrows slowly loosened up.
Breman: Make sure to get it fixed, Halfmoon Leak’age.
Halfmoon Leak’age: Of course, I guarantee it.
Breman: Last is Mo Chuan.
Mo Chuan: Mhm.
Breman: You’re in charge of cleaning up this inn.
Mo Chuan: …huh?
Breman: Alvin seemed to have taken advantage of our mealtime to get himself drunk.
Mo Chuan: ……
Breman: Don’t be like that. If you walk around in your current state, it would cause a panic on the streets.
Breman: Besides while you’re here, you also have the important duty of looking after that chest. No matter what, that giant pincer must remain safe.
Mo Chuan: Roger that.
Breman: You may start your missions now. From now on, not every task will be explained in such detail.
Breman: If I were to give a task without explaining the reasoning behind it, please still follow my orders to the letter.
Breman: Di Qi Ju, follow me upstairs.
Di Qi Ju: …hm? Alright.
I followed him up to the double room we booked.
The giant chest which had been on the bed since morning was no longer there, instead there was something else that resembled a travel trunk.
Di Qi Ju: What’s that?
Breman: Around noon, I made a trip to Skills and visited my alma mater to retrieve some things.
Breman: I did mention I had studied military management in Skills right? Back then, there were some things I couldn’t bring back to Faith and so I stored them there, today I went to retrieve them.
Di Qi Ju: What are they?
Breman: Mostly clothing. I prepared a set for you as well.
Di Qi Ju: …mine?
I opened up the trunk on my bed and saw a set of clothing within it.
It was a complete disguise containing a pair of black pants, top hat, blazer and even a fake stick-on beard. Within the black blazer was a white shirt and a tie lying on top of it.
Breman: These should allow you to disguise yourself as a butler who manages the finances.
Di Qi Ju: …exactly what am I going to do, dressed up like this?
Breman: Naturally we’re going to…
Breman: Take revenge!
A dangerous grin which I had never seen on him before, stretched across his face. For some reason, this smile reminded me more of his female identity. It was the kind of smile that only a female had, the kind that reminded me of the thorns on a beautiful rose.
Di Qi Ju: Re…venge?
Breman: Don’t tell you’ve already forgotten what I told you yesterday? Ferdila…and the Country of Skills, I’m going to make them pay for what they did.
Breman: Revenge, is naturally exacted when the flames of fury have reached their peak, only then can you ensure that they reduce your enemies to cinders.
Breman: I promise it will be an interesting…opening to the summer festivities!
As he said that, he took out a set of clothing from his own trunk.
Di Qi Ju: Oh…HUH?
Those clothes were enough to cause my jaw to fall to the ground.
The first night of summer was one of revelry for the citizens of the prosperous and strength-worshipping Skills.
Compared to the low-budget celebrations of the ordinary folk, the revelry of the rich and powerful revolved solely revolved around these four activities:
Banquets, Plays, Hunting and Gambling.
The Chief of the Military Police wasn’t any different either. While the citizenry celebrated, he spent his night in the casino he opened up himself, “Depths of Wealth.”
It was one of the largest casinos within Skills with every gambling game imaginable to man. Its clientele consisted solely of those with money to burn who rather than winning, enjoyed the thrill of gambling itself.
Of course, this casino had riskier forms of gambling as well. However, those were reserved for the entertainment of its richer clientele.
As his wife from the north didn’t take too well to gambling, Ferdila instead had to drag his colleagues along with him for his gambling trips.
Ever since opening up a casino of his own, the majority of his gambling trips had been by himself. All he needed to do was wait for those who wanted to fawn on him to splurge in his casino while at the same time keep him company; during which they discussed some shadier matters.
His mood was as downcast as it could get and all this was thanks to that son of his, who even he himself admitted was an *sshole, that got himself killed. Not only that, he had failed spectacularly in prosecuting his son’s murderer, having lost the trial in the front of the public.
Putting aside his plans for the future, what he desperately needed now was the sweet ambrosia that only reckless gambling could bring. Only such mental stimulation could wipe away the frustration within him.
The night festivities had already started as he made his way up to his usual seat in the VIP lounge on the third floor. From there, he had a bird’s eye view of the entrance on the first floor and half of the second floor. This was the best and his favorite spot to begin his search for entertainment.
He habitually observed his guests gambling, paying particular attention to the brilliant or foolish ones before taking to the field himself.
Tonight, the bell at the front door rang out continuously signalling an unending stream of customers. Yet what was to be an excellent chance for him to vent his frustrations ended up being a disappointment.
Having entered the summer time, his guests seemed unwilling to engage in riskier forms of gambling and instead settled with the more mainstream but lower budget activities.
Looks like tonight wasn’t going to be as exciting as Ferdila thought.
Another guest had entered the Depths of Wealth. The other guests would naturally not pay any attention to such an unassuming person within this bustling casino and yet the eyes of Ferdila so happened to fall upon said guest.
It was a tall, thirty odd year old man dressed in a black suit and a top hat with a beard that covered most of his face; he looked like the typical finance manager of some large household. Such a person would usually not be alone in his gambling. Most of the time, his employer would be right behind him.
As expected, another guest entered the casino immediately after him.
Not only was Ferdila captivated by this guest, the patrons standing near her were just as captivated as well.
It was a lady, to be exact, it was a teenage girl on the verge of becoming a lady.
She wore a green vest paired with a green pair of shorts to suit the summer atmosphere of the casino. Her short golden hair had been braided into a tiny ponytail that hanged by her side to match her green ensemble.
As the click-clack of her white leather shoes echoed across the floor, they seemed to draw in the gaze of those around her with every step they took.
Just by looking at her clothes, anyone would think that this was a playful yet naive girl from a rich household. This was a guest that Ferdila had never seen before, which said something as this casino had been open for a mere two to three years.
However, there was one thing he was certain of, that defenseless demeanor of hers was a magnet for the other gamblers who would love to make a killing off her.
As expected, in just under ten seconds, the girl and her bookkeeper were swarmed by the other guests.
Young Gambler: Yo, this young lady over here, would you care for a game?
Captivating Girl: ……
Captivating Girl: I’ve never played here before, can you tell what’s the most popular game here?
Drunken Old Gambler: Hiccup—popular games…there’s plenty; cards, machines, which do you prefer?
Drunken Old Gambler: No matter what you want, we’ll be more than happy to accompany you…hiccup!
Captivating Girl: Oh…in that case.
Girl’s Bookkeeper: Excuse me…but will you all not trouble my Missus?
Young Gambler: Huh? Who the heck are you, servants should stay at the side and keep out of things.
Girl’s Bookkeeper: But…
Captivating Girl: —it’s alright. I’ll play anything.
Drunken Old Gambler: Sure sure, let’s play a round of cards first!
Drunken Old Gambler: Disciple, make sure to watch carefully…
Young Gambler: Yes yes, go ahead master.
The two gamblers and the girl moved towards a nearby cards table out of the voyeuristic Ferdila’s line of sight.
Even without looking he was certain of the outcome; the scene of veteran bullying a newbie.
All he hoped for was that the girl brought enough money with her and that she wouldn’t cause a scene later.
Sigh…was this night doomed to be a boring one? Either way, moving to the “riskier section” would be a better choice.
The sound of a bottle shattering.
The bustle of the casino was slightly dampened by the sudden crash. On the third floor, Ferdila’s eyebrows jumped at the unexpected sound, clearly just as startled as those below him.
However, given that today was the celebration of the start of summer, minor drunken scuffles like this was to be expected. Ferdila waved his hands beckoning for one of his employees.
Yet before he could even give out instructions to check out the situation, the voice of that old gambler rang out within the entire casino, travelling all the way to his ears.
Drunken Old Gamber: You…you you…
Drunken Old Gamber: This skill…this appearance…
Drunken Old Gamber: I remember now…you’re…
Drunken Old Gambler: …you’re the “Cold Wind Empress” !?
Special thanks to Steve Granger!!
Synopsis: Somewhere in the universe, there was an altar. On it, laid a bloody eye as big as the sun itself. It burst with light and bathed the entire star system in red.
"The aura of an ancestral artifact!" Someone's voice rose in surprise.
The Great Galactic Era had begun.